KRA auctions contraband sugar seized at border


KRA offices, Times Tower, Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has auctioned tonnes of contraband sugar worth millions of shillings in Turkana County.

The sugar that is alleged to have been illegally smuggled into Kenya from neighbouring countries were seized 18 days ago in Lokichoggio, but the owners failed to clear the requisite taxes.

According to authorities, the sugar was destined for various retail outlets in Turkana and parts of Western Kenya.

Most of the impounded goods were allegedly imported illegally from Uganda. KRA's Customs Department told The Standard that the sugar was still good for consumption.

The taxman said the goods were inspected by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the authority was given a nod to proceed with the auction.

KRA, together with other government agencies have been destroying contraband goods seized from importers.

"Port Health Services, KEBS and Food Authority (Sugar Directorate) inspected and cleared the goods for sale in an auction," the statement reads.

The taxman said it was the first time it was auctioning contraband goods seized in Turkana

The authority, however, did not disclose the amount raised during the Wednesday auction, stating that more contraband sugar will be sold in coming days.

The sugar was seized during a crackdown on contraband goods last month.

Traders in Turkana have accused KRA of targeting small traders and not sugar barons. 

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